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  • Ethereum Foundation Developers Agree on September 19 Date for The Merge

Now that the September 19 date is in view, the Ethereum Foundation developers will set a timeline for the “Difficulty Bomb” to be activated. 

After years of active development of the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus model, developers at the Ethereum Foundation have finally set September 19 as the date when the Merge will take place. The Merge is the term that is used to describe the event in which the PoS model will subsume the Proof-of-Work (PoW) model as the only way of verifying transactions on the Ethereum protocol.

While the speculations around the September merge have been on the horizon for quite some time, the confirmation was given at a conference call of Ethereum developers, organized by Tim Beiko. At the meeting, Beiko proposed the September 19 date, and there was no objection from any of the developers present on the call.

The Merge is going to be one of the most important milestones in the history of blockchain technologies. When completed, it will cut down on the network’s energy use by as much as 99%, thus freeing it from the incessant backlash it has been receiving as being environmentally unfriendly.

With the stall in placing a particular date for the transition from PoW to PoS, some developers had posited that failure to commit to a specific timeline is doing more harm than good.

“There are very real costs associated with not doing the merge: 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide every day,” developer Ben Edgington said. “It’s nearly a million tons a week. Every week we twiddle our thumbs, that’s a megaton of carbon dioxide we´re emitting.”

The claim that urgency was not being felt was dismissed by Tim Beiko who said the attempt to get things perfectly right should not be jeopardized.

“It’s worth noting [that] on the last call, and privately to me, client teams have mentioned they do feel pretty stressed and urgent,” he said. “Too much pressure just pushes teams to burn out or make worse decisions, and that’s not the situation we want to be in.”

Way Forward

Now that the September 19 date is in view, the Ethereum Foundation developers will set a timeline for the “Difficulty Bomb” to be activated.

The difficulty bomb is a tweak that will make approving transactions on the Ethereum network Post-The Merge extremely difficult and almost impractical. This difficulty is expected to force miners to abandon the PoW model while focusing on the new PoS.

After the successful merges of the Ropsten and Sepolia testnets, the Goerli testnet’s transition to proof-of-stake is planned for Aug. 11. The events are programmed to precede the eventual upgrade that will go live on the mainnet in September.

The Ethereum developers have highlighted the fact that the set date is just a strict guide for a roadmap, and the actual launch on the mainnet may vary as reality unfolds.

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